Is your small apartment cramping your style in the most literal sense possible?
A lack of square footage can really put a damper on certain aspects of your lifestyle, especially if you are someone who likes to entertain, decorate, or if you just enjoy extra space for activities and comfort.
Although it can be a daunting task to utilize the area in your home to its fullest potential, it is possible. With a bit of creativity and a “less is more” mindset, you will have no problem turning your small space into something both livable and aesthetically pleasing. Here's a few useful apartment space saving tips for you.
Space Saving, Clever Furniture
Chairs, couches, beds, and tables are necessities for a fully-realized living area, but they also take up the most space. You should make a point of getting rid of the things you do not use often, but you should also consider replacing other items with space-friendly options.
When purchasing furniture, it is actually better to avoid smaller pieces, as they tend to make rooms feel smaller as a result. Instead, focus on finding full-size items that can fold, adjust, stack, and convert.
Furniture that can double as storage is also an attractive feature to seek out if you need a place to keep those vintage records you’ve been collecting. Here are a few examples as to what you should look for:
This is undoubtedly the largest piece of furniture that will exist in your room. In order to use your bed to your advantage, find a bedframe that allows you to store things underneath. You can place plastic containers below a raised bedframe, or find a variant that has drawers installed underneath. If you would prefer to hide your bed entirely when you aren’t using it, a murphy bed might be better suited for your needs.
The Canadian company, Expand Furniture, has a great line up of wall beds and couches like their MurphySofa seen here:
Dining, work, and living room tables can be tricky to use efficiently in a small area. A conventional table certainly has its utility, but doesn’t provide much value in regards to saving space. Luckily, there are several alternatives designs that do, all while retaining their functionality. You can find tables that fold to a fraction of their size when not in use, have chairs that double as storage containers, or that fold down from the wall. In most cases these tables are also lightweight, allowing for easy movability.
A majority of couches designed for smaller areas emphasize the ability to convert into a bed, or other seating arrangements. Futon-like couches are great for having a place for guests to sleep without the need for a separate bed, and multi-use couches eliminate the need for additional chairs. These memory foam couch beds from...well, couchbed are really cool!
Optimize Your Storage Space
Even if you keep your personal belongings to a minimum, a small apartment can still make storage a hassle. Before you choose to downsize completely, try adhering to a few of these tips in order to hang onto all of those prized possessions of yours. Remember, the goal of maximizing space is not to get rid of everything you own, but rather to utilize the space you have as efficiently as possible.
Use Vertical Space
Your walls shouldn’t only be used to hang pictures. If you have an empty wall, you can install floating shelves, hooks, and hangers in order to replace a standard drawer. Doors can be used in the same way, for example, opting for a hanging shoe rack on the inside of your bedroom door, rather than taking up closet space. When it comes to bookshelves, try finding tall, slender options that do not cover a lot of surface area on the floor. When possible, stack things to free up even more square footage.
It’s very easy to make a tight space look disorganized if you aren’t keeping your belongings in order. It's vital to categorize and compartmentalize the things you own to maintain an optimal level of cleanliness and structure to your home. You will quickly find that you will save space in the pursuit of this as well. You can find organizers for virtually any area of your home—from drawer organizers, fabric storage cubes, to broom and mop organizers like this one here. Drawer-style containers can be stacked in closets, and shelf organizers can keep things tidy under your sink:
The best method of storage in a small apartment is the invisible kind. Not only will this allow you to squeeze a little extra space out of your home, it will be aesthetically pleasing as well. For example, if you have an open-faced bookshelf, hide it with a hanging curtain to conceal its contents. This will allow you to store anything you’d like on it, without it looking out of place. A roll-out pantry tucked between the wall and refrigerator is perfect for hiding all of your spices, sauces, and snacks. You can get even more creative with DIY options, such as using old books and a wooden box to hide clutter.
Be Design Conscious
Sometimes you don’t have to create new space in order to make your apartment feel bigger. In fact, a room’s perceived size is often dictated by its design — how it's decorated, how furniture is arranged, and how colors are used. Follow these tips in order to create the illusion of a bigger apartment:
- Choose Colors Wisely: Lighter colors for walls and flooring will allow rooms to feel more light and airy. You can also use multiple colors to differentiate spaces, for example, having the kitchen painted a shade or two darker than the living room. Vertical stripes (oriented to run the length of the room), can also make areas feel more elongated and spacious.
- Furniture Placement: Although it may be tempting to push your furnishings flush against the wall to gain that extra inch or two, it is actually better to pull furniture away from the wall. The gaps between mitigate that “cramped” feeling, and allow for a more spacious appearance.
- Decorations & Materials: Even if you focus more on function over form, it doesn’t hurt to add a bit of decorative flair to your home. Choosing the appropriate materials and decorations for your small apartment can make it look bigger than it actually is, and add a bit of liveliness in the process. Don’t leave those walls bare. Invest in a couple prints or canvases that are large, bold, and colorful in order to draw the eye upward. In regards to colors, be sure to focus on uniformity and consistency. Organizing your shelves by color, for example, will create streamlined structure to a space. For tables and desks, opt for clear materials like glass or Lucite. Adding a large mirror (such as a floor mirror) is also a simple way to create the illusion of depth.
- Other Details: There are several small details that can be derived from the previously mentioned tips. For example, couches that are raised on legs create that additional gap between it and the floor, creating more visible space. Drapes and curtains should match the walls in order to maintain color consistency. Purchasing full-sized items doesn’t pertain only to furniture, but to decorations such as vases and pictures as well. The more you mix and match these ideas, the more space you will ultimately create in your home.
Think Like A Minimalist
Of course, adhering to a minimalist mindset in regards to material items is one of the best ways to reduce clutter and free up space. You shouldn’t feel compelled to get rid of the things you own for the sake of space creation, but you should be mindful in regards to what you are bringing into your home. Having duplicates of items, for example, can unjustifiably take up space that could be used otherwise. For example, do you really need ten plates and twelve bowls? Reducing the amount of items you use daily can have a drastically beneficial impact on the utilization of the space you have. This includes categories such as clothing, toiletries, office supplies, etc.
You may also have to change the way you approach shopping. Whenever you purchase something new, its going to take up space, so you should ask yourself questions such as: Is it helping me stay on budget? Is this item necessary? If yes, how will it be accommodated space-wise in my home? Is there an alternative that would better suit the layout of my apartment? Taking thoughtful, preemptive measures is vital for keeping your clutter (and unnecessary possessions) down to a minimum.